How to Start a Community Garden

charlie_imageSo with spring time upon us, it’s got me anxious to start our garden, and this year will be a little different. This year we are starting a community garden. In remembrance of my Grandpa, I decided this year to venture out and ask people about starting a community garden. So far this year we’ve got about 8 to 9 couples from the surrounding communities that are interested in starting.

My grandpa always talked about how important the garden was in providing sustainable food for your family. I still remember grandpa talking about how they would only go to town for flour, sugar, and gas, and everything else they would get from the garden. So over the course of the summer I’ll frequently be writing about how we started our garden, how we divvied up responsibilities, and some of the obstacles we encounter along the way. Here’s a few tips to get started on your own community garden. 

Inquire about interest
First off, before getting started you need to know what type of interest you have in your community. Even if you’re able to only get two or three families involved, that’s still a good start. During this phase, one tip I would have would be too walk around and tell them what your ideas. Then proceed into asking how they could get involved. “Hi, my name is Charlie and I live just down the street. Just wondering if you’d be interested in starting a community garden with me and some of the other neighbors. If you’re interested, then I’ll stop by with a small list that you can check off, I’m interested in growing this or I’m interested in eating this.” This will give you a good idea of what type of vegetables your neighbors are interested in growing and who might be responsible for growing certain foods.
Map Out Your GardenCommunity_Garden
Once you decided on what kind of vegetables are going to grown, then you can start laying out a map of how your garden might look and what garden accessories you may need. First off, this will help you decide what vegetables can grow better close together. Secondly, you can label what areas of the garden certain folks in your community will be growing what vegetables.
Buying Seed
So now that you know who’s going to be growing what, and where they’re going to be growing, then people can get started buying their seed. Depending on whether you’re going to grow an organic garden or not it’s real important to first establish with everybody what type of seedyou are going to be buying. It might be helpful to have a few options for your neighbors on where to buy organic or non-organic seed.
Weed control
Establishing weed control responsibilities as a must have and an immediate necessity. If you don’t know how you’re going to be controlling your weeds or who’s going to be doing weed control, then that will be a big setback in getting this garden off the ground. My recommendation would be to propose the idea of either having everyone pitch in to do weed control randomly throughout the week, or having each family control weeds in their sections of the garden. Once you have this established early on in the spring then that’ll make things a lot easier in the summer or late summer.

 

So these are just a few ideas to get started on your gardening this year. All throughout this next year I’ll continue update this series on how our community garden has been working, and tips for success on your own garden.

I’d be interested in hearing if  hearing if any of our readers have started a community garden or tips that might help ensure success.

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